How Internships can help (re)start your career

Internships can help you (re)start your career

Inspired by her father who was a high-school teacher, Ahuti Mishra always wanted to build a career in education. She was an ambitious woman who wanted to make it big in her choice of profession. However, she got married early and with the added familial responsibilities, she could not pursue her career right away.

After some time, for her love for learning, she decided to pursue a post graduation in English. Her husband and in-laws also supported her decision and encouraged her to and perform well. However, when she expressed her wish to go out and work, their reactions weren’t the same. Few years down the line, she became a mother and got busy taking care of her child. This was when she herself gave up on the idea of working. In the meantime, she developed an interest in writing and started utilising her leisure time writing in her diary on random topics ranging from her personal thoughts to her different experiences.

Over time, with the rise of social media, she also became active on Facebook. She wrote posts, commented on others’ posts and engaged with other people. This is how a friend of hers noticed her interest and potential in writing and extended her an offer to write content for his healthcare website. Ecstatic she accepted the offer and started writing articles. One day, while working, she came across the concept of internships and decided to develop her writing skills with work-from-home internships.

She started applying to them and was finally selected for one. Her work required her to thoroughly research about various media legends and write their biographies. Initially, it was difficult for her to manage the balance between her professional and familial responsibilities but by the end of the internship, she learned to keep a balance between both. Also, during this internship, she learned to use tools like Grammarly and Hemingway app and developed her writing and research skills. After this, she never turned back and kept on doing more and more internships. Resultantly, she is now working as a successful freelance writer.

Just like Ahuti, a lot of career-oriented women in India often either aren’t even able to start their professional lives or have to take a break from their career because of reasons like familial responsibilities, childcare, and elderly care.

Sometimes, a break meant for a few months often gets extended into a years-long break. And, when they are finally ready to rejoin the workforce, they find it extremely challenging due to reasons like career-gap on her resume, lack of up-to-date skills, and resultant low confidence. Here, internships can help you redeem your career after a long break by preparing you for the advances in the current professional world and building your self-confidence. Here we have enlisted a few reasons as to how:

  1. Flexible work timings and options: Unlike regular jobs, internships require comparatively less commitment. Initially, it can be difficult for you to maintain a balance between your work and household life. Good thing is, internships also come with work-from-home and part-time options, and thus can help you settle with the sudden transformation of your day-to-day life.
  2. Bridge the skill gap: A long gap in your career puts you behind the current workforce due to rapid advancement in technology and work practices. This acts as a big obstacle in getting a job. To overcome this, you can do an internship where you’ll be able to pick up the latest skills by actually applying them.
  3. Experience on real-time projects: In today’s age when work experience is valued over having just the theoretical knowledge, it would be beneficial to have an internship experience (during your time off) on your resume before you start applying to regular jobs. This will uplift your self-confidence, make your application stand out, and ultimately help you leave a remarkable impression on the employer.
  4. Build a network: While interning, you get to work on a variety of tasks. You ’ll work with diverse professionals and build a network for yourself. This can prove to be useful when you start applying for jobs. Also, there are chances that over time, your interests and expectations from a job might change. For instance, in Kamakshi Pareek‘s case, she couldn’t go back to her profile (internal operations manager) as it was not feasible for her to do the work virtually, so she pivoted her career through an internship and is now successfully working as an HR consultant in a company.

Millions of women in India have stories similar to that of Ahuti. If you are one of them, don’t be disappointed because you have hope now. So, what are you waiting for? Get an internship and (re)start your career!

Courtesy: Sarvesh Agrawal is the founder & CEO of Internshala – an internship & training platform. An alumnus of IIT Madras, Sarvesh has worked with Capital One, Barclays, and Aviva plc before launching his own venture. Over the past seven years, he is on a mission to build a ‘world-full of opportunities’ for students by providing meaningful internships and reducing the skill gap between the industry and the students.

 

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